Skip to main content
BILLS OF LADING 25
When goods are consigned to a named consignee, the
shipper has no need to endorse the bill of lading before
forwarding to his consignee, but when it is consigned to
"order" he must endorse the bill over to the consignee to
whom he wishes delivery made.
Other clauses appear in the body of the bill, but the clause
paramount of the Carriage of Goods Act makes it unneces-
sary to deal with these here.
The bill is signed at the foot by, or for, the master. He,
as the agent for the owners in the care of the steamer, and
bailee for the cargo during the period of its shipment, is
personally responsible for the goods whilst in his care.
This matter is dealt with fully in Chapter XI.
If a bill of lading is signed for goods which are not
actually on board, the liability of the master is increased,
for it may happen that the bill is issued, and therefore the
prima facie evidence is that the goods were actually
shipped, and the carrier may have great difficulty in
proving that this was not so. It is conclusive to a holder
It is therefore the master's duty, or the duty of any one
having authority to sign for the master, to see that the
particulars in the bill of lading are accurate, before the bill
The date which appears at the foot of the bill should of
course be the actual date of shipment, or receipt of the goods.
In the body of the bill the ports of shipment and delivery
are mentioned, and the contract is therefore to carry the
goods with all reasonable speed from the one place to the
other. A clause is found in many bills allowing the carrier
the privilege of deviating to other ports "in any order
whatsoever, backwards or forwards in any directions."
This clause is valueless as there is no permission at any
time for the owner to leave his course. Where this route
is an advertised one, and the shipper is aware that by
custom of trade the vessel calls at intermediate ports, e.g.
London—S. Africa, calling at Cape Town, Durban and
Beira, he accepts this route, but does not give the carrier